Oratory competition open to high school girls

Published 6:29 pm Monday, April 15, 2019

Fifty high school girls will be selected to compete in a juried Minnesota oratory competition.

The speech topic is “A Republic if You Can Keep It: Rising to Benjamin Franklin’s Challenge.”

A total of $1,750 will be awarded to the top three speeches.

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The event is sponsored by Metro Republican Women.

“We are thrilled to invite Minnesota girls to address such an important topic in the most beautifully restored Minnesota State Capitol,” said Deb Kaczmarek, a leader with the Speaking Proudly organizing team, past president of Metro Republican Women and high school speech coach and teacher.

“Competing in this magnificent setting, exercising the freedom to speak up for our country, will be an experience these girls will remember the rest of their lives,” she said. 

Thirty-two judges consisting of speech teachers and well-known political and community leaders will take part in judging the various speeches throughout the day. Competition schedule and rules, details about the application process and speech preparation tips can be found at speakingproudly.org.   

Applications are due Aug. 1 and selection of competitors will be made by Aug. 31. Applications are received and identified only by a number assigned to the speech outline to allow judges to focus strictly on the merits of the speech submission and eventually, its delivery.  A $50 deposit with each application is returned to the girl if she is not selected to compete or after she engages in the competition.

The competition begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. Oct. 26.

After two rounds of judging, all but three competitors will be eliminated. The final three speeches will be heard in the Capitol Rotunda from 3 to 3:30 p.m., after which the winning speakers will be announced. Family members are welcome to attend this final round of speeches.

According to a press release, Metro Republican Women has provided quality education on Republican political issues for the past 36 years.

The organization is part of the Minnesota Federation of Republican Women and National Federation of Republican Women. 

With 55 current members, Metro Republican Women is the largest and most active club in Minnesota. Known for monthly speakers who address challenging political topics of the day, the club has been recognized for its outreach to military families, concern for literacy issues and for aiding women who are returning to the workforce.